JUST about every month, a glitzy tower rises somewhere in the country, boasting the latest in “green” design and technology. To many people, that is an encouraging trend, especially when considering that commercial buildings account for more than 60 percent of the nation’s electricity consumption, according to government estimates, and generate 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Yet these buildings represent a small fraction of the nation’s estimated 4.5 million commercial properties, many of which were erected decades ago before sustainable, or green, designs became de rigueur. This vast stock of older buildings presents a much bigger opportunity to cut down on energy consumption and carbon emissions that contribute to the warming of the planet.
Read more @ Green Buildings Don’t Have to Be New – By Amy Cortese – New York Times .
Architect Vincent Callebaut’s latest project balances public galleries, meeting rooms and gathering spaces over canals and abandoned railroad tracks in the 19th Parisian district. The prototype uses green technologies and techniques but is more than just an example of sustainable design. Callebaut’s ‘Anti Smog: An Innovation Centre in Sustainable Development’ is a catalyst for cleaner air.
Read more @ Inhabitat » Anti Smog Architecture: A Catalyst for Cleaner Air in Paris by Ali Kriscenski
Environmental activists, scientists and green organizations, first and foremost the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), have over the past few years been making an effort to protect the remaining natural assets in urban areas. Apparently there is no clear worldview about the characteristics of urban nature, its importance and the means of preserving it.
Now the Deshe (Open Landscape) Institute, which operates as part of the SPNI, has published a paper, “Urban Ecology,” on the subject by Inbal Brikner Brown from the Institute of Desert Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. It deals with, among other things, what is worthwhile and possible to preserve on the basis of existing scientific knowledge.
Read more @ Not everything wild gets on well in cities – Haaretz – Israel News.
Danish architect Tim Norlund has beaten over 100 entries to gain first prize in the Sheffield Parkway footbridge competition.
Norlund joined forces with Ramboll Whitby Bird after his design was short-listed to the second stage in the competition. They will work together with the client team at Sheffield and Rotherham Councils, to take the scheme forward.
Read more @ Builder & Engineer – Sheffield Parkway bridge design winner.
Does security have to be as ugly as a concrete barrier? Or can it be both effective and attractive? Planners in the US capital are putting well-designed physical security to the test
The stately white mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has survived fire, scandal and an attack by the British. Someone even crashed a small plane into its facade. All the while, “America’s House” has sat, just yards away from its citizens, as a powerful symbol of the freedom and accessibility of democratic government. But in recent years, a wave of security threats has added layer upon layer of visual armor….
Read more @ CIO – Hidden Strengths by Daintry Duffy
You’ve just installed energy- saving lightbulbs, only to hear that if one of them breaks you might have to evacuate the room to avoid toxic mercury. You’ve been sponsoring a patch of rainforest but now reports say the jungle is healing itself. You’ve been recycling your newspapers and glass bottles for years, but you’ve also bagged cheap flights for those lovely little city breaks. Guilty? Ashamed? Confused?
Welcome to the world of green fatigue.
Read more @ A climate of change – The Scotsman.
A plan has been submitted to cover a stretch of California highway with a 24-acre park. It would be built on a deck constructed over the below-grade portion of the Hollywood Freeway (US-101). Organizers argue that by placing a “cap” over one of the world’s most congested freeway systems, the necessary ventilation system would clean the air before re-circulating it back into the environment — creating a positive improvement in air quality for LA. Additionally, the park would also provide a nexus between East Hollywood and Central Hollywood–”alleviating the strain on the community from the initial creation of the freeway through this section of Hollywood.”
Read more @ GroovyGreen.com – Green Roof Proposed For Stretch Of California Highway